April 2024

The First cabin: what to expect

Regardless of your dream destination, flying First with us is an experience all in itself. Here, we show you why our most luxurious cabin belongs on every 2024 wish list by taking you along on the journey, step by luxurious step. Ready? Let’s put our best foot first

Your journey begins
Arriving at our Terminal 5 home when flying First is to depart from the airport experience as you know it. You’ll walk past our regular check-in desks to the exclusive end-of-the-Terminal building, where you’re invited to walk through the golden gates of our dedicated First Wing for a blissfully stress-free check-in and faster passage through security.

The lounge
If you’re a First passenger, you’ll be able to relax in the Galleries First Lounge, where you’ll be greeted by the first of our iconic, full-size horse lamps. Across the hall, there lies another rarefied sanctum for your exclusive use: the Concorde Room, which is home to an à la carte restaurant, flickering fires (the perfect spot for a cocktail inspired by these pioneer aviators), plus showers to ensure you board in tip-top form and wanting for nothing.
Look out for: The 13ft nose from one of our Concordes, which now resides in the terrace area of the Concorde Room itself. 

slide door open slide panel slide lamp > <

The big turn left
It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for: you step aboard and turn left. The sleek, plushly carpeted First cabin is located at the front of the aircraft, ensuring as quiet an experience as possible. Once they’ve shown you to your suite, your dedicated cabin crew will present you with a glass of Champagne or the zero-alcohol tipple of your choice to settle you in. Next up, the crew will bring you your amenity kit (there are different ones for men and women), filled with a curated collection of Elemis products and everything you’ll need to keep fresh on your journey and beyond. 

The menu
You may have only eaten a few hours ago, but appetites work differently when travelling. In First, all dining is suitably on demand. You can decide what you want and exactly when you want it, which is particularly useful if you have a sleep schedule already in mind. Once you’re comfortable, a glorious menu arrives, where you’ll discover that dining in the front of the plane is like getting a reservation at the hottest table in town. Even the mood lighting can be adjusted to resemble candlelit dining in a high-end restaurant.

Our à la carte menus are drawn up seasonally and reflect the very best ingredients from our isles, alongside the many global influences that make up British cuisine.


A trio of canapés precedes the main event

You’ll find yourself feasting on the best of British, perhaps with smoked salmon from Scotland’s Loch Fyne and sweet Brixham crab from Devon, finished off with crisp Granny Smith apple. Maybe a trio of canapés, featuring Hampshire trout rillette, prosciutto with asparagus tips and feta-stuffed courgette.

As for mains, recent highlights include a wonderfully succulent Heritage Scottish beef fillet, served with a sweet potato terrine, seasonal sprouts and topped with a rich morel sauce. Recent menus have also played host to a spectacular free-range corn-fed chicken Wellington – a twist on the classic using mushroom paté and a creamy peppercorn sauce – and a pan-roasted wild brill, line-caught from Cornish waters and presented with a light lemon butter sauce and creamed potatoes.

As for dessert, you could be tucking into a traditional British rhubarb and almond Bakewell tart with a creamy, fluffy pastry filling and ice cream with mascarpone to temper the sweetness. Meanwhile our cheese board presents Rock Star Cheddar (which lives up to its name), Orsom’s handmade Red Leicester and Long Clawson stilton, plated with grapes, chutney and savoury cheesy biscuits.

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The First suite is inspired by sports car interiors, with extensive use of chrome and premium leather

The surroundings
Britain’s finest fare is plated up as you’d expect it to be at a top dining establishment. Bespoke crystal glassware and fine English bone china add to the sense of the occasion, and one of the very greatest experiences in First is that you can even have a guest join you, courtesy of the footstool that doubles as a chair. Your main table for dining folds up into a side table and writing desk covered in fine leather to coordinate with your leather armrests, with fine stitching inspired by British-made supercars.


More space than any other cabin onboard

The drinks
Did you know that the First cabin is overseen by our full-time Master of Wine? Tim Jackson is the man dedicated to sourcing and curating our wine selection across all fleets and lounges. Unlike many other airlines, we also lay down our wines until they’re at their absolute peak. To combat the change in our palate at 35,000 feet, where aromas and flavours are rendered duller by altitude, Tim says he leans towards “wines that are perhaps a little fruitier and more exuberant”. As for the First cabin, Tim selects bottles such as Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough and Serge Dagueneau Pouilly-Fumé. “These wines are created from the aromatic Sauvignon Blanc grape, ensuring intense aromas that are appealing and push through at altitude,” he says. He pairs our rack of lamb masterfully with a Cru Classé Bordeaux, Château Saint Pierre. Of course, we also offer non-alcoholic drinks, cocktails, mocktails, Champagne and spirits.


Complementary WiFi, a 23 inch screen and noise cancelling headphones by Meridian

The entertainment 
Did you know that you can access free Wi-Fi if you’re travelling in First? This means messaging, browsing and even streaming for the entire duration of your flight on one device. As for your in-flight entertainment, you can enjoy your choice of movies, TV series, music and up-to-the-minute releases on a larger screen, between 16 to 23 inches.
Look out for: New film releases, including Oscar-nominated American Fiction and delightful rom-com, Anything But You.


Stretch out in a 6ft 6 bed with 400 thread count sheets

The best slumber in the sky
Several courses, wine pairings and one blockbuster hit later, and it’s time for a snooze. And while it hasn’t always been easy to sleep on long-haul flights, you’ll have no such issues here. First has a special mood lighting in the cabin that facilitates sleep and waking up, and your seat reclines smoothly into a fully-flat bed at the touch of a button. Close the blinds over your double window, don your Temperley London loungewear and slippers and pop your day clothes in your personal wardrobe while the crew turns down your bed with 400 thread-count sheets. Then lay your head on a pillow as soft as the clouds you’re skimming. In a bed that’s nearly 2m (6ft 6in) long, there’s plenty of room to stretch out. 

inset-afternoon tea

A British ritual including English sparkling wine and Devonshire cream

The afternoon tea
A most British tradition commences during the afternoon of your flight, whenever that may be. This mix of sandwiches, macarons and the obligatory scone with jam and clotted cream (to be applied in your order of preference, of course) is always appropriate, no matter the hour back home, particularly when accompanied with a glass of English Hattingley Valley sparkling wine, specially created in 2019 to mark our centenary.

The arrival
When arriving into Heathrow Terminal 5, you are invited to use our dedicated Arrivals Lounge to freshen up before your day ahead or, if you’re connecting, the First Lounge and Concorde Room are also at your disposal.

concorde room

A world of warmth: the Concorde Room

Use Avios to upgrade to First
If you’re flying in Club World, why not dedicate some of those hard-earned Avios towards an upgrade to our First cabin, either at the time of booking or on an existing flight? You can upgrade either on both one-way and return flights, and can also use upgrades on Rewards Flights.

This article has been tagged BA, Travel Tips